Police campaign for safer cycling

Parents are being urged to make sure their children’s bikes are road-safe as the nights close in.

Ripon and Pateley Bridge Police are anxious to promote safer cycling among young BMX riders whose bikes do not have brakes or lights, and want parents to take responsibility for their children’s bikes.

“Parents need to understand that they have a responsibility in law for the safety of their child’s cycle. Too many parents are allowing kids to remove brakes from BMX bikes and to ride them on the road, causing a risk to themselves and to other road users. Where appropriate, we will report parents for offences,” said Ripon police station’s Insp Rob Thorpe.

Traffic Constable Steve Gardner, based in Harrogate, is leading a campaign that will see officers stop cyclists without safe lights and brakes fitted on their bikes.

The riders will be given chance to get their bikes fitted out with proper brakes and lights before police decide to prosecute.

Insp Thorpe is also a member of the Department for Transport Cycle Training Standards Board.

“There are some very good schemes out there for cycle awareness and skills training, such as the Government’s ‘Bikeability’ scheme. We don’t want to stop cycling, we want to increase the safety of it for everyone,” he added.

Police have also joined forces with two bike shops to encourage young cyclists to use lights that will not affect their bikes’ look.

Both Moonglu and Stif Performance Cycles sell lights that do not need permanent fitted brackets and can be clipped onto bikes at night.

“These lights fit easily into the pocket, so there can be no excuses for not using them. They can be used between bikes, keeping costs down, which we know can be an issue. Most of all, they will ensure that your child can be seen when riding out at night,” Insp Thorpe said.

Both shops will be giving away a set of lights to a cyclist spotted by police officers riding safely with lights and brakes fitted.